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Hanon on why the Olympics have ruined Judo

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I so often question why we as a species never appear to learn from history? In fact so many people don't even read history. To those who are pro Olympic and suggest judo would dwindle without being part of the IOC, let me run this thought by you. Prior to 1964 there where Millions of judoka in Japan alone, Take the rest of the world and it became tens of millions. Can you remind me how many people are practicing judo today :huh: ? Not even a quater of a million in Japan, in fact FRANCE has a bigger judo population! Please don't mention that there are more countries affiliated with the IJF as this is NOT the point. Look at the numbers of partcipants, its a tiddle of what it was.

Once judo is seen as a sport, SOLD as a sport and made into a sport it simply lost its purpose, became inferior to other Martial ways and to martial arts.
Judo used to be about fighting untill one made an ippon, that may have been 30 or 40 minutes. Ippon is the heart and soul of kodokan judo, ippon for the self and ippon in terms of a pyhsical pseudo kill. What happens Olympics, in comes the money and power and those few at the top have to make judo 'look' interesting to a public, they have to sportify what can't be sportified. Introduction of time in shiai,Koka then Yuko then came the coloured gi and other ridiculous rules that prevented the athlete trying for an ippon. Coaches needed to produce WINNERS not judoka. Winners may win by using and abusing the rules. Why on earth risk the ippon attack when a koka will do the job and that awful medal is won.
You do realise that judo was the only 'sport' in the Olympics where one could win by cheating! Remeber the stepping out of the shiaijo rule <_< ? All the players needed to do was concentrate on the RULES and forget what the real subject of judo is all about, just attack and your partner steps (or was he pushed? :o ) out of the shiaijo, hang on for the next few minutes and you could have won a GOLD medal! Plumb crazy.

The more judo became commercialised and 'sold' as a sport the more the numbers dropped of. PLEASE don't shoot me, this is NOT my error. I have not closed thousands of dojo world wide and decreased the numbers of people interested in judo. Read the numbers of participating judoka today compared with only 5 years ago, it has halved, go back 20 years and..........

I am NOT taking a bash at our Olympic judoka, they train so hard, are so dedicated and do their best to bring home the bacon. It is NOT the error of the Olympic judoka but the error of those who made judo into a spectator sport to get TV rights that reduced judo from being a skilful art that had codes and the idea of winning that ippon to the idea of winning by the Olympic (IJF,spit spit) 'rules'.

Judo can never be of interest to the public as spectators. In trying to 'bend' judo to make it appealing to a TV audiance the goals and aims of judo went out with the bathwater.

In my own dojo I have never taught nor scored Koka nor yuko! NEVER. My pupils have two options waza-ari or ippon. When we visit other dojo the pupils from the visiting club while changing after the session have actually asked me what it is I teach? Was it ju jutsu or some other style? When I mention its kodokan judo they comment that its not like that in their club. Some of the dojo I visit don't even teach or practice Taiso or ukemi.

I have been told by a few 'top' coaches that in teaching Ukemi we are teaching a pupil how to fail :blink: . This Gleeson-Geesink sheer ignorance and stupidity caused so many accidents many hospitals in France refused to treat Judoka unles they had some form of private insurance!!! Ukemi is only half about learning to fall safely the other half is to allow the mind freedom to be thrown safely so when one attacks one never need fear being countered and one identifies the tatami as a friend not something to be affraid of. The psychology of learning ukemi is equally important as learning the physical actions themselves.

Further, when we look at the cost involved in placing a few judoka into the Olympics is it cost effective? Can you imagine that if we didnt have to send judoka to the Olympics that perhaps some of the grass roots clubs that are still using tatmi 20 or 30 years old may be bought new tatami. The Olympics benefit a tiny elite and judo is about the masses and helping every judoka complete themselves as a person. If one needs an Olympic medal to do that then one will never be complete.

2 Comments On This Entry

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04 July 2010 - 04:44 AM
I liked your post. I'm a judo student who stopped taking it seriously recently after they introduced rules where you can't grab the legs.


19 October 2010 - 08:18 PM
I am in full agreement with you. We need to teach all of Kodokan Judo and the students who want to compete under particular restrictions will do so, (no leg grab as initial contact, just hold out for time if opponent gets shido, winning is the only purpose, etc.) If I could come to your dojo I would.
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